Experiences from the Joint EurAI Advanced Course on AI, TAILOR Summer School 2022 in Barcelona

Thanks to KInIT’s involvement in the TAILOR project, our PhD Student Peter Pavlík was offered the opportunity to attend the Joint EurAI Advanced Course on AI, TAILOR Summer School 2022. The summer school took place on June 13 – 17 in Barcelona, Spain. The joint summer school was devoted to the themes of explainable and trustworthy AI and organized by Intelligent Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Center at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Keep on reading to find out more about Peter’s impressions from the summer school. 

The TAILOR consortium is a network of research centers focusing on realizing the vision of making Europe the global role-model for responsible artificial intelligence. As a partner of the consortium, The Slovak Center for Artificial Intelligence, and by extension KInIT, could send 3 PhD students there to learn about how explainability and interpretability can be used to build trustworthy AI.

The school consisted of more than 20 lectures and keynotes from top European researchers in the field of artificial intelligence. The lectures were aimed at presenting various explainable models, interpretability approaches and providing motivation for using them. 

The emphasis was on satisfying the main policy of the European Union in terms of AI development – for the artificial intelligence systems to be human-centered and to support the decisions of their operators, instead of replacing them. That is why the reasoning behind every decision must be as clear as possible. Additionally, examining the reasons behind the model outputs can reveal previously hidden biases and help in development of fair and reliable AI models.

Besides the lectures, the attending students were also able to present a quick pitch of their dissertation project topic during the doctoral consortium. The best presentations were awarded some symbolic prizes. I also took part in the consortium and got some very valuable feedback about my project from the doctoral committee.

Besides the learning activities, the summer school also offered ample opportunities to connect with like-minded students doing research in the field of AI. In addition to the discussions during the coffee breaks and lunch, evening social events for the attendees were organized as well. 

The Catalan choir concert inside Sant Pau del Camp, the oldest church in Barcelona, and the gala dinner at the Balmesiana Palace were definitely the highlights of the summer school. I befriended many wonderful people from all around the world there and hope to meet them again in the future.

Overall, I am very thankful I was granted this opportunity. The lectures gave me an overview of the selected topics and left me with a lot of ideas to think about. The consortium was a great chance to present my research to a wider audience of researchers. And last but not least, I’m sure the new acquaintances with other researchers will prove to be invaluable in the future.